Hit-and-run tourism

I was reading one of Lucky’s posts over at One Mile at a Time and started thinking about the concept of the “3 Perfect Days” series from United. The few times I’ve flown on United I’ve actually looked forward to reading those articles, and in a few instances they actually were about places I was head on that trip or an upcoming one. Considering how infrequently I fly UA I found that pretty coincidental.

Lucky’s post got me thinking about the fact that I’m a hit-and-run tourist. No, I don’t go around crashing cars into pedestrians (though I do have a spotty driving record overseas). But when I head out to see a place, spending more than two or three nights in one place seems strange to me. I actually had only one limitation put on my honeymoon itinerary planning – no single night cities. I managed to plan it that way (for the most part) and we had a great trip, but I still like the shorter stays and getting to see more places.

Could we have spent more time in Bangkok? Maybe. But I don’t think that we would have enjoyed our additional time more than the initial three nights there. Ditto for our two nights in Paris. Though I’m sure we could’ve continued to eat the great food, the other aspects of the touristing there weren’t so great. And I actually felt that more than one night in Venice was too much, each of the three times I’ve been there, so there are times the hit-and-run approach makes sense.

I’ve also been to plenty of places that I want to go back to, where the 2-3 nights isn’t enough. But even for those places I’m not sure I’d stay too much longer on subsequent visits. I like getting my exposure to the places a little bit at a time, and circling back later to see more. Of course, you run the risk of circling back later to find out that the sight you wanted to spend more time at is gone, but I look at those situations as an opportunity to find something new to see.

And there are certainly plenty of new (to me) things to see out there in the world.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. I wouldn’t have minded seeing more Paris museums than we did. But I agree on Bangkok and the places we saw in Vietnam.

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